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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Creating a Home Inventory List

A service of  XXXXXXX Insurance Agency and the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin

Homeowners and renters alike benefit from keeping an up-to-date list of their property’s inventory. Insureds should create and then periodically update such a list to protect themselves in the event of a loss. Having an updated inventory list is essential to ensuring that you carry a sufficient amount of homeowners’ or renters’ insurance coverage. It can also make a difference in how efficiently your claim is processed in the event of a loss.

One factor that varies widely by policy is how much of what an insured currently owns will be reimbursed. If you aren’t sure what your policy covers, contact your insurance agent. Additionally, the property of college students living outside their parents’ home in off-campus housing is often not covered on a homeowners’ policy, so consumers should consult with their agents about whether they need renters’ insurance to cover their collegiate children’s belongings.

Some essential items to include in a home inventory are electronics, like computers, laptops, tablets, e-readers, smartphones, and televisions; clothing and accessories; housewares and other home appliances, including kitchen appliances and sporting and other hobby-related equipment; and other valuables (jewelry, art work, collectibles, etc.), some of which may require an addition (known as a “rider” or “floater”) to a standard policy. A home inventory list is also a good way to keep a record of important documents, including birth certificates, passports, social security cards, etc.  Keep track of account numbers and any other information you may need in the event of an emergency.

Many technology-based resources now exist to ease the burden of this vital task. Thanks to smartphones, it’s easier than ever to narrate a video and/or take still photos of the interior of your home to accompany your inventory list. Once the list has been created, it should be updated regularly, and updating it should take less time than creating it did. Here are a few of the resources that exist to help you create a home inventory of your own:
 
National  Association  of  Insurance  Commissioners  (NAIC)’s app – This free smartphone app is available for Android and iPhone devices and enables consumers to make lists of their valuables, update said lists, and provide easy access to lists after a disaster. Using the app, consumers can store photographs/videos, descriptions, bar codes, and serial numbers of their valuables,  and all the information can be organized by room. For people who don’t use smartphones, the NAIC also offers a downloadable checklist that can be used to create a home inventory list. Both can be found at http://home.insureuonline.org.

Insurance Information Institute’s (III) Inventory app – This free smartphone app is available for Android and iPhone devices and enables consumers to add rooms, items, and photos or videos. It also synchronizes with Web-based software and can therefore be used anywhere via smartphone or computer. For people who don’t use smartphones, the III also offers a printable list, which is sorted by room and is a good way to start thinking about what needs to be inventoried, whether you use this list alone or in conjunction with one of the many available home inventory apps. The printable list can be found at http://www.knowyourstuff.org.

XXXXXX Insurance Agency is a member of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin

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Posted by on in Press Release

How to Prevent Ice Dams This Winter – Tips from the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin


MADISON, Wisconsin (January 05, 2015) – Winter has gotten a head start in Wisconsin, with many residents already experiencing significant snow falls. Such early snow increases the time period for ice dams to occur.

Ice dams are caused when the sun shines on your roof or warmth from the attic melts the snow…and as the water runs down, it meets the cold edge of the roof and re-freezes. Ice dams can cause a lot of damage to ceilings, walls, floors, insulation and other property inside your home.

“The good news is that most basic homeowners’ policies cover damage caused by ice dams,” says name, title, your agency or company. (Add a line to two about your company/agency.) “However, due to the inconvenience it’s better to prevent ice dams from happening in the first place.”

  • Be sure that your attic is properly insulated and ventilated, so that the temperature stays at a consistent level, under 32 degrees or below. The attic and roof should be cold so the temperature doesn’t melt the ice on the roof.
  • Seal air leaks in your attic to prevent warm air from escaping and causing snow to melt.
  • If you are concerned about ice dams or heat loss, this is a great time to have an Energy Star professional inspect your attic, roof and home, to look for areas of heat loss or poor ventilation, and offer potential money-saving recommendations.
  • Some home improvement contractors encourage the use of roof rakes to remove extensive snow build-up when it gets over six inches, others caution that shingles can be too easily damaged with roof rakes. If you choose to rake your roof, be very careful not to damage the shingles or pull snow and other loose debris onto yourself or others. The roof does not need to be bare; you are just doing preventive maintenance by removing some snow.
  • DO NOT TRY TO CLEAR ICICLES. If you have large icicles, this is a sign that you may have a large ice dam. Large icicles can weigh several hundred pounds and have severely injured and even killed people. Leave that job to the professionals.

If you experience damage from an ice dam, notify your insurance agent as soon as possible to begin filing a claim. Make a list of all damaged or lost personal property and take photos, if possible.

“You can make temporary repairs immediately to protect your property from further damage. Keep the receipts and include them in your insurance claim. Permanent repairs must wait until the insurance adjuster has had a chance to review the damage.”

It is also important when you are making repairs to make sure the contractor you use is licensed and reputable.

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Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
6401 Odana Road | Madison, WI 53719
Phone: (608) 274-8188 | Toll Free (800) 261-7429
Fax: (608) 274-8195 | Toll Free (866) 203-7461

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